Cities are our natural world, created by us and yet, in their constantly shifting complexity, almost beyond our grasp. Urbanization processes do not end at the city boundaries. Almost infinite networks, alienated communication, hasty consumption and conflicts of social marginalization or economic injustice determine our urban survival. Cities form contested spaces, whose present refers back to the past, whose power structures can be identified and also changed. It is important to predict the need for change well in advance but also to be able to react to acute crises great and small with fresh solutions.

Innovations are driven on a bottom-up basis. Not infrequently they arise at the margins of society, where established structures encounter influences from without, traditional responses no longer work, or safeguards apply to some but not to others.
The projects developed in the studio situation of our Social Design program show that societal innovation–meaning extraordinary results and unexpected approaches–becomes possible where different forms of knowledge and methods interact, where artistic acumen combines with creativity from the so-called hard sciences, where design, theory, architecture and the fine arts not only pool their strategies but also enter into confrontations and alliances that can be both risky and productive.

Innovative methods construct new meanings, strengthen responsibility and thus create the preconditions for identification with one’s own actions. Students who choose the Master’s in Social Design – Arts as Urban Innovation signal their determination to play a critical and active part in influencing society and a refusal to discount the future!


The master programme Social Design Arts as Urban Innovation at the University of Applied Arts Vienna is oriented towards graduates from diverse fields of study, thereby stipulating work in transdisciplinary teams as the central teaching and learning approach in the programme. On the basis of professional competences acquired in their respective previous studies, students become acquainted with transcending disciplinary codes and thinking and working in greater interrelationships. Art in synergy with project-related scientific methods and knowledge is seen as a tool for urban innovation.

Duration and Scope:
4 semesters / 120 ECTS 
Graduation: "Master of Arts" (MA)

Download the curriculum as a PDF:  Deutsch  English



Dayhun Kim

Designer, Vienna

Studied Design at Seoul National University of Science and Technology and Social Design at the University of Applied Arts, Vienna. She worked as an assistant grafic/web designer and is currently working as a freelance illustrator. Dahyun has a big passion for voluntary services. She therefore also pursues design which is focused on helping the people and the world.

Communication & Industrial Design
+43677 62091330

Sarah Borinato

Graphic designer, Vienna

I am a 27 years old Sicilian designer and singer based in Vienna but I like to define myself a ‘multi tasking person’. Why? Because I am always looking forward to something new to learn.
And most important, I have fun!

What I like to do the most is combine and integrate my two big passions, music and design. I like to work with different people and for the people and I love good food!

Eylem Ertürk

Arts Manager, İstanbul / Vienna

Having background in management and fine arts photography, Eylem has been working as an arts manager focusing on local cultural policies and socially engaged artistic practices. She is interested in research and production in visual arts to bolster cultural diversity and broaden cultural rights, participation and dialogue.

Markus Gebhardt

Artist, Vienna

The artist and art-therapist grew up in Germany and lives currently in Vienna. He is mainly interested in deviant forms of cohabitation with a special focus on gender issues and queer culture. With his projects, he is carving out nuances of mutual understanding. The superordinate aim of his work is, to raise consciousness towards the beauty of diversity and its various possibilities for the co-existence within our society.

Art and Art Therapy

Michel Gölz

Applied Anthropologist, Vienna

Michel has studied Anthropology and is interested in applying theory to contribute to positive societal transformations. He: - speaks the languages of different disciplines and works towards a productive relationship of theory and practice. - Uses methods from the Arts to include citizens in the urban planning process. - Builds fictions of alternative living models to give an idea of where we are and where we want to go.


Silvan Hagenbrock

Urbanist and Filmmaker, Vienna / Berlin / Weimar

Graduated in Urbanistik at Bauhaus-Universität Weimar, he co-initiated RAUMSTATION collective. For his Bachelor on Chinese Urbanism in Addis Ababa, he produced the documentary film CHINESE NEW FLOWER. Since 2016 he is curator and editor at STADTMACHER China – Deutschland CITYMAKERS 中德城市创者.